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Don?t let sleep disruptions ruin your holiday

There are many who find it difficult to sleep while on a holiday. It could be stress (vacations can be stressful), unfamiliar surroundings, jet lag, heavy meals, allergy medication, anything.
None | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JAN 07, 2005 04:32 PM IST

There are many who find it difficult to sleep while on a holiday. It could be stress (vacations can be stressful), unfamiliar surroundings, jet lag, heavy meals, allergy medication, anything. Result: tired days, crabby moods and a wrecked holiday. The US National Sleep Foundation offers these tips to sleep well while you’re away from home.

Minimise jet lag
Anticipate timezone changes. If you’re travelling east, get up and go to bed earlier beginning a few days before your trip; if you’re heading west, get up and stay up later.

Try to arrive late afternoon or early evening to give your body time to adjust.
Live by local time. Try to remain awake until at least 10 p.m. local time to get a full night’s sleep.

Enjoy the sunlight, especially in the morning, to help regulate your body clock. Daylight helps keep you awake; conversely, darkness can induce sleep and worsen jet lag.

Travelling by car
Get a good night’s sleep the night before, especially if you have a long trip.
Avoid driving too early in the morning or late at night, when you are normally asleep.

Schedule regular stops every 100 miles or every 2 hours.
Travel with a companion to help watch for signs of fatigue.

General travel tips
Take naps. Short naps (15-45 mins) can be refreshing. But avoid naps close to bedtime.

Watch the caffeine. Avoid 3-4 hours before bedtime.

Check out your hotel room before you check in. Make sure it is quiet; try to avoid facing a busy road or highway. Make sure the bed is comfortable.

Keep your bedtime routine. As far as possible, sleep and wake at your regular times.

Carry familiar items such as your favourite pillow. Earplugs and eye masks can help keep out noise, unwanted light.

— KRT

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